20.8 miles, 48,592 steps, 605 stories climbed
386.3 miles, 1,054,856 steps, 10,625 stories climbed
Today was a great day for a hike. Got a rare good nights sleep thanks to the soft ground of the forest. I almost didn’t want to get out of my sleeping bag but, it was time to hike. So, Silver, Stretch, Not Yet and I all packed our stuff and headed out.
The four of us had a very good pace. I’m not quite sure when we started but we had hiked 12.4 miles by lunchtime.
We had originally said we wanted to do about 15 but we didn’t find any good campsites and the wind was whipping pretty strong so we headed to Roan High Knob Shelter, which is the highest shelter on the AT at around 6200′.
The weather was great all day but as we got up the mountain the temperatures did drop, the wind picked up and the trail was covered with snow and ice. It slowed us down a bit but we still managed to get in not long after 5.
There weren’t quite as many views today as the past few days but the shelter we’re staying in is one of the nicer ones. It actually has 4 walls, a door and a loft.
When we got in the 4 of us and an older section hiker by the name of Pigeon, all sat down and started to eat. We started passing around our food like we were at a dinner table or something as Pigeon told us some rather raunchy jokes.
During our hike we came across a road we had to cross and at the road was a North Carolina state trooper. He asked us first about a vehicle that had been parked up the road for a week and then he started talking to us about Red.
There are a great deal of rumors surrounding Red. He has supposedly harassed some female hikers, stole a truck in Erwin, and is armed and dangerous. It turns out he was actually staying at the Super 8 hotel when Not Yet and I were there. Cops have been called on him numerous times but for some reason he isn’t looked up.
The North Carolina state trooper warned us to watch our backs and informed us that he allegedly stabbed a hiker last night but they are not sure about his whereabouts.
In other news a fellow hiker Greywolf was forced to leave the trail today due to some family issues. Greywolf was an incredibly fast and very friendly older hiker from Germany. It was a shame to see him have to leave but we wish him the best of luck and hope whatever is going on works out for the best. It is a reminder though how much luck is a huge factor in being able to compete the trail in addition to health, determination, time and finances. There are so many things that can happen to force someone off the trail and we can each of us only hope that we are allowed to continue on our trek all the way to the end.